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On the sky's clayey bottom : sketches and happenings from the years of silence

Author: Zdeněk Urbánek
Publisher: New York : Four Walls Eight Windows, ©1992.
Series: Archives of Czechs and Slovaks Abroad.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : English : A Four Walls Eight Windows 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
Asked to describe the theme of On the Sky's Clayey Bottom, Zdenek Urbanek responded that in one way or another each of the stories in the book describes "the experience of a freely thinking mind inside a country which was, because of the general conditions of the world, compelled to accept a totalitarian regime." Like Havel, Urbanek is an ironist, firmly in the modernist tradition of Kafka. Urbanek writes with deep
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Genre/Form: Short stories
Fiction
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Urbánek, Zdeněk.
On the sky's clayey bottom.
New York : Four Walls Eight Windows, ©1992
(OCoLC)645846580
Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Zdeněk Urbánek
ISBN: 094142376X 9780941423762
OCLC Number: 24952355
Description: vii, 232 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: Introduction / Vaclav Havel --
The Visit --
The Figure Swimmer --
The Vedantist --
The Trainees --
The Face of Civilization --
The Man on the Ground Floor --
The Chairman --
The Topic --
The Brothers Korec --
The Night Before Sunday School --
The Dreams That Now Have Ceased --
The Music Theater --
Mr. Sumpetr --
Three for Bartok --
Memoirs in a Prague Gallery --
A Father in 1947 --
Operation Angel --
The Festival by the Lake --
The Hands --
The Bathroom with the Silver Faucets --
An Evening at the Store --
A Wedding in Town --
A Fateful Night --
On a Visit to a Musician --
From Life --
A Day of Nothing But Foreigners --
Things Help Life But Also Death --
The Happy Summer --
On the Sky's Clayey Bottom --
The Afternoon of a Faun --
Tomorrow Begins --
Relata Refero --
The Twelfth Mission --
A Speck of Truth --
The Sources of History --
The Letter.
Series Title: Archives of Czechs and Slovaks Abroad.
Responsibility: Zdeněk Urbánek ; translated [from the Czech] by William Harkins.

Abstract:

Asked to describe the theme of On the Sky's Clayey Bottom, Zdenek Urbanek responded that in one way or another each of the stories in the book describes "the experience of a freely thinking mind inside a country which was, because of the general conditions of the world, compelled to accept a totalitarian regime." Like Havel, Urbanek is an ironist, firmly in the modernist tradition of Kafka. Urbanek writes with deep despair and constant tenderness in equal measure. His.

Unerring grasp of life's absurdity marks him as one of Europe's contemporary masters. In these 36 stories, Urbanek's Prague, like Joyce's Dublin, is rendered in exquisite particularity, image by image--from the State Security agent in his "green-gray plastic raincoat," or the old woman leaning against the whitewashed wall of her house at noon mourning the deaths of loved ones to the point of insanity, to the drab apartment of a young couple that have recently committed.

Suicide--revealing the strangeness of daily life in this Eastern European city. But unlike Joyce's world, Urbanek's is familiar. It has borne horrible witness to the holocaust and the brutality of the cold war.

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